Dan Henderson: 'I Know If I Fought (Jon) Jones, I'd Knock Him on His Ass'

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IJanuary 16, 2013

Photo Courtesy of MMA Fighting
Photo Courtesy of MMA Fighting

Former PRIDE and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson missed his chance to add a piece of UFC hardware to his mantel when he withdrew from a light heavyweight title fight in September. 

However, according to a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio, "Hendo" still believes he has the tools to take out divisional champion Jon Jones. 

I feel that I'm probably the guy to beat in the weight class. I know that if I fought Jones, I'd knock him on his ass. But if I don't get that opportunity, I'm not going to sit and dwell on it and wait for it. I waited last year, and I'm not going to do it this year.

After an incredible Fight of the Year performance against former 205-pound title holder Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139 in Nov. 2011, Henderson was willing to sit on the sidelines for about 10 months to get a crack at Jones. 

Now 42 years old, the Team Quest co-owner said he is going to opt to stay active instead of playing the waiting game again.

"If the timing's right (to fight Jones), I'd do it," Henderson told MMA Junkie Radio. "If not, I'll beat the next top guy."

In the midst of a four-fight win streak, also victorious in seven of his past eight fights, Henderson currently has a tough assignment in the form of Lyoto Machida ahead of him at UFC 157 next month. 

The bout marks the first action inside the cage for the former Olympic-level wrestler in nearly 15 months. 

"Bones" next defends his belt against Chael Sonnen, a long-time friend and training partner of Henderson, at UFC 159. 

If Henderson defeats Machida and Sonnen pulls off a massive upset to become the new champion, Henderson has indicated he'd be willing to fight his buddy as long as a title is on the line.

Does Henderson provide the biggest challenge for Jones out of all the current light heavyweights on the UFC roster?